Baros v. Baros (pdf) (Tex.App. - Houston [14th Dist.] Feb. 25, 2010)(per curiam)
divorce property dispute)(no community property accumulated, separate property lose to forfeiture)
AFFIRMED: Per Curiam      
Before Justices Brock Yates, Seymore and Brown    
14-09-00038-CV  Waymond Troy Baros v. Melissa Baros    
Appeal from County Court at Law No 1 of Montgomery County
[Name of trial court judge not shown on appellate docket]


In this divorce action, appellant Waymond Baros challenges the trial court’s failure to award him
certain property he owned prior to the marriage.  We affirm.


Appellant and appellee were married on December 13, 2005.  Appellant was subsequently
incarcerated and appellee sought a divorce.  On November 24, 2008, the trial court held a hearing
at which appellee appeared and appellant’s mother appeared on his behalf.  Appellee testified
that the parties owned no community property and that any property they owned was acquired
before the marriage.  She testified that she delivered some of appellant’s clothes, paperwork,
court files, and “other collectible stuff” to a relative’s house and placed the remainder in a storage
facility.  Appellee failed to pay the fees for the storage facility and forfeited the property as a result
of the failure to pay.

The trial court entered a divorce decree in which it determined that no children were born of the
marriage and there was no community property to divide between the parties.  Appellant filed an
appeal in which he maintains that appellee failed to prove that the items were forfeited from the
storage unit.

Standard of Review

In a divorce decree, the trial court shall order a division of the estate of the parties in a manner that
the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of
the marriage.  Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 7.001 (Vernon 2006).  The phrase “estate of the parties”
means the parties’ community property.  Wilson v. Wilson, 44 S.W.3d 597, 600 (Tex. App.—Fort
Worth 2001, no pet.) (citing Cameron v. Cameron, 641 S.W.2d 210, 214–15 (Tex. 1982).  The
trial court has broad discretion in dividing the community estate of the parties, and we will not
disturb its decision unless the trial court has clearly abused its discretion.  Smith v. Smith, 22 S.W.
3d 140, 143 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2000, no pet.).

Property Division

Here, appellant and appellee did not acquire any community assets.  The trial court found that
there was no “estate of the parties” to be divided, and appellant does not challenge that finding.  
Appellant’s complaint centers around the fact that appellee forfeited his separate property that
was in the storage facility.  Appellee testified under oath that she gave some of appellant’s
possessions to his relative and that she forfeited some of them when she failed to pay the fee for
the storage facility.  Neither appellant, nor his mother, presented any evidence to contradict
appellee’s testimony.  In granting the divorce and finding that no community property existed, the
trial court did not abuse its discretion.

The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

                                                                              PER CURIAM

Panel consists of Justices Yates, Seymore, and Brown.